How common is hearing loss in the workplace? Well, take a few free online courses on the subject, and you'll learn it's more prevalent than most people think. Around 11% of the Australian population has some kind of hearing loss, and of those, 1 in 4 lost theirs because of workplace noise. As such, it's something that business owners really need to consider.
What Are Workplace Noise Standards In Australia?
According to WorkSafe Regulations, workers in Australian workplaces must not be exposed, on average, to anything more than 85 decibels. Then, on a sliding scale, the louder things are, the shorter the allowable time is possible in the scenario. For example, if someone is exposed to say, 91 decibels (that's just 6 more) over 2 hours, it's equivalent to 8 hours in 85 decibels.
What Is The Effect Of Excessive Noise In The Workplace?
Around 1.1 million Australians currently work in environments that would be considered to be noisy, and believe or not, some workers don't even know it! Gymnasiums, nightclub workers and more routinely work in loud environments without protection, which can result in not just hearing Noise-induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), but also a series of associated issues, such as:
- Insomnia or sleep disturbance
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Work-related stress
- High blood pressure
Short courses online in workplace health & safety show us that it's usually obvious when you have a noise problem, as you'll have to raise your voice to be heard. If you're not sure, try one of the growing numbers of noise-measuring apps that can give you an exact figure.
So, What Can You Do To Prevent Workplace Hearing Loss?
If you find that you have to talk louder to people, even when they're only a meter away, the likelihood is that your workplace has hazardous noise levels. The good news is that there are some measures you can take to protect yourself and others.
Provide Ear Defenders
As all good first aid course training teaches, prevention is always better than a cure. That's why the provision of ear defenders should be your first move. Whether talking about in-ear plugs or over-the-ear defenders (equally effective), protective equipment must be offered by law and when worn correctly, provide the barrier needed to protect ear health.
Give Staff A Break From Noisy Activity
As we mentioned earlier, taking a break from noisy environments can greatly reduce the impact of excessive decibel levels. Depending on the activity, it's best to create some kind of rota that limits how long each person spends in a noisy area. It doesn't have to be overly complicated. Rather, just ensure that no one spends too long exposed to noise
Lubricate Equipment For Quietness
So far, we've only looked at how to protect against noise that exists, but what about reducing it instead? Often, noise in the workplace is due to equipment that needs lubrication. By ensuring that all machinery is well-lubricated, it will typically run more quietly and be much more efficient with the power or fuel it uses.
Reduce Exposure To Ototoxic Chemicals
As Workplace Health & Safety online training teaches, it's possible to experience hearing loss by being exposed to chemicals like carbon disulfide. Known as ototoxicity, this kind of exposure can damage hearing and cause the eyes, blood, heart, liver, nerves, kidneys, and skin. You can combat this by following all chemical handling rules and ensuring everyone wears a respirator, eye protectors, long sleeves, and gloves.
Enhance Your WHS Knowledge With OCA Online Training
There is a lot to think about when it comes to workplace health and safety (WHS) in Australia, but with
CPD-Endorsed video-based short courses online from OCA it's much easier to deal with. Providing all the WHS know-how you need, online training like our Workplace Health & Safety Course makes learning enjoyable. It can be taken entirely at your own pace.
We believe that ours is the most immersive online education Australia can offer, and you get a closer look at why by watching our Student Study Demo. As an OCA student, you get 24/7 tutorial support as you study and 1-to-1 mentoring, meaning you'll never struggle to get answers if you get stuck at any point.
Our full course library covers over 20 industries, which you can see simply by visiting us today at www.onlinecoursesaustralia.edu.au. There you'll also discover our flexible payment options that make our already affordable courses even more accessible and affordable.
Alternatively, if you have any questions you’d like us to answer before you enrol, simply call 1300 611 404 or email email@example.com. The moment we receive your inquiry, we’ll do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.